The 2012 Kaizansai Ceremony

Written by: William Habington
Date: 2012/04/30

Kamikochi’s long-awaited “Kaizansai,” marking the official opening of the park and its facilites was held on Friday, April 27.   





This year’s event was blessed with clear skies which only added to the feeling of excitement in the air.

I wonder whom we have to thank for this fine weather…






The strong, resonant sound of Alpine horns heralded the start of the festival and soon the crowd’s applause was echoing throughout the area. 




Just as the Shinto priest began to recite his prayer, the clouds suddenly parted to reveal the sun.

At that instant, the feeling of divinity in nature was strong.   Everyone seemed to share in the wonder of the moment.




At the end of the ceremony, a “Shishi mai” (or lion dance) put on by a historical preservation society, stirred the crowd’s feelings even more.

Moving in step with the music of “hayashi” musicians, traditionally asociated with Noh and kabuki, the dancer gave a perfomance which was both moving and imposing.




Some audience members got a chance to pet the Shishi after the performance.


This year’s Kaizansai was a great success and also the perfect start to Golden Week.

As we look toward the warmer temperatures that will bring more people to Kamikochi, we’re glad to have had such a wonderful opening ceremony.



Source of Information:

– Kamikōchi National Park Guide Website (